EARL "MANY SKINS" CARTER
WAXHAW — Earl "Many Skins" Carter, 79, enrolled tribal member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, made his final journey after many years of combating a failing heart and Lyme disease, having crossed over on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, surrounded by family at the home of his son.
"Inquire of your Elders and they will tell you." Deuteronomy 32:7 NLT
Mr. Earl was born on Aug. 22, 1941, in the Antioch community of Robeson County, near St. Pauls. Earl's parents were Marcella Locklear and Braddy Carter. Grandparents were Winston Carter and Bessie Mae Chavis. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Tommy, and sisters Judy, Betty and Jane.
The funeral services will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. in Gordon Funeral Chapel, 1902 Lancaster Ave., Monroe, N.C. 28112. Burial will follow in Lakeland Memorial Park. The family will visit with friends and relatives Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. in Gordon Funeral Service.
In 1962, Earl met and married his surviving wife, Judith Ann Moss of Waxhaw. Mr. Earl also leaves behind two children, Rickey Carter of Monroe, and Scott Carter (wife Terri) of Norwood; grandchildren, Michael Carter of Monroe, Christian Carter of Newton, Madalyn, Ashley, and Natalie; great-grandchildren, Summer, Weston, and Catie; brothers, Michael, Tony, Stanley and Braddy Carter Jr.; and sisters, Margaret and Joan. Mr. Earl also leaves behind his faithful membership in the Red Path Baptist Church of Rock Hill, South Carolina. There, worship services included traditional Christian music, Native American songs, drumming, smudging ceremonies and study of the Holy Bible.
Earl attended Robeson County schools through the eighth grade, at which time he left school to work in the fields, doing his share in helping support the family. This practice was very common for most Indian boys of Robeson County during the economically depressed, post-war times.
As a young Indian boy, Earl was fascinated with our relations in nature (animal and plant life) used for food and medicinal purposes. Much of his knowledge was learned as a small boy from his grandmother, Polly Strickland, and his great-grandmother, Adeline Locklear (on his mother's side), both of whom were known as medicine women in the community.
Mr. Earl also learned much about preserving and carrying on the local Indian cultural traditions and ceremonies of ancestors from his family and neighboring friends, as well as from the Red Man's Society (organization of local Indian men) known to be active from the early 1900s to the 1950s.
At the age of 18, Earl moved to Charlotte, finding employment with a steel fabricating construction firm. There he learned the trade of welding and soon became a construction worker erecting high-rise structural steel buildings. Later, Earl attended an auctioneering school, which led him into auctioneering all across the United States.
Mr. Earl always had a burning desire to fly. He attended flight school, receiving his flight license. He flew planes, such as the Piper Cub, Cessna's 150, 172 and 180, as well as other numerous planes.
In 1977, Mr. Earl was appointed as the Tribe's "Fire Keeper" and later acknowledged as the Holy Man or Spiritual Leader by the late Raymond (Mr. Pete, aka Spotted Turtle) Clark. In this volunteer position, Mr. Earl's responsibilities required a great deal of training in the areas of communicating, counseling, conduct, faith, cultural ceremonies, Siouan language, serving on the Tribes Elder's Review Committee and more; all of which he mastered well during his lifetime.
At the time of Mr. Earl's crossover, he had unselfishly volunteered well over 40 years of his time and love for all people as Fire Keeper and Spiritual Leader, not only for the Lumbee people, but to those who heard of him and came from afar to worship with him along with other brothers and sisters in the Sacred Fire circle. They came from as far away as New York, Georgia, the Dakotas, Mexico and Africa to learn and experience the Sacred Fire Ceremonies held at each Spring Equinox, Fall Equinox, Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice of each year.
Thank you, Mr. Earl "Many Skins" Carter, for your tireless dedication to your people and all people. Your legacy precedes you and you will never be forgotten. Many stories will be told around the fire about your life by those who knew and loved you so well. Nemasa, Kaday.
"The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out." Leviticus 6:13 KJV
Online condolences may be made at www.gordonfuneralservice.com.
Gordon Funeral Service and Crematory is caring for the Carter family.